House husband: “The opportunities to progress as a reservist are endless”

A house husband who has been serving with the Army on a part-time basis for 21 years has described why he believes 2017 has been a successful year for his unit in Leicestershire.

Major Alex Smith is the Officer Commanding of 222 Medical Squadron in Leicester and joined the Army Reserve in 1996 as he wanted to experience life as a soldier as well as enjoying time with his family and friends in Leicestershire.

Looking back at 2017, Alex has made the most of both the opportunities to maximise both his personal development and training for his unit.

Outlining some of his stand-out moments of the last 12 month Alex said: “Reservists, including myself, from 222 Medical Squadron joined regular soldiers from 2 Medical Regiment in Italy for a Battlefield Study in October where we followed the footsteps of a World War Two campaign to liberate Rome.

“We studied the route taken by the American Army’s 36th (Texas) Infantry Division in 1943 beginning on the beach in Salerno, just south of

Maj Alex Smith 222 Medical Sqn

Major Alex Smith

Naples. We travelled along the Mignano Gap, the location of a German defensive line during World War Two otherwise known as the Bernhardt Line.

“The study provided an opportunity for reserves and regulars from across the whole spectrum of the Regiment to come together and follow the movements of allied forces who had the task of liberating Italy.

“The whole experience allowed us to consider real historical actions which was at times very humbling.

“There was also a period of reflection at the British War Cemetery and a wreath was laid in honour of the fallen. The study from start to finish was educational, enjoyable and should be one for all reserves to aspire to be involved with.”

222 Medical Squadron provides pre-hospital care and force health protection. The unit is currently recruiting professionals such as doctors, nurses and physiotherapists to join them at the Army Reserve Centre on Brentwood Road in Leicester, as well as people who would like to serve as medics, drivers, chefs, clerks and communication specialists.

Alex continued:  “I feel very fortunate to be able to balance my time at home with my wife and two young children, as well as having a managerial role in the Army Reserve that allows me to pass on my knowledge to others in my team.”

Speaking about his Squadron’s achievements, Alex explained:  “There have been many highlights over the last few months. Four of our reservists from the unit ‘passed out’ becoming professionally qualified officers, a huge achievement for them.

“A number of individuals have taken part in both regimental and external training exercises across the country and overseas including: supporting the regiment with driver training and doctors being deployed to Kenya on ASKARI 17.

“We have seen continuing growth in our soldiers achieving Combat Medical Technician qualifications, as well as junior soldiers volunteering to attend a potential non-commissioned officer cadre which involved them going through military training in order to identify their leadership and managerial potential. The unit also took part in Remembrance Events in Leicester recently and have been working hard to engage with the local community in any way we can.

“The opportunities to progress as a reservist are endless. Individuals can gain confidence, knowledge and leadership skills which are all transferrable into the civilian workplace and day-to-day life.

“I believe being a reservist has made me a more rounded and level headed person who is able to adapt and be flexible in changing circumstances. Being a part of a medical unit and having to complete mandatory medical training is a great tool and gives us all skills that could be utilised away from the unit should anything unexpected happen in our civilian lives too.

“2017 has been a very successful year for 222 Medical Squadron and I would encourage anyone looking for a new challenge in the New Year to contact us to find out more about joining our team in 2018.”

To find out more about joining 222 Medical Squadron, 2 Medical Regiment call 0116 275 9680 or email

“I believe being a reservist has made me a more rounded and level headed person who is able to adapt and be flexible in changing circumstances."